by Brett Malec | Wed., Sep. 12, 2012 11:49 AM
Move over, Simon Cowell.
Britney Spears is proving she can bring the mean—or shall we say blatant honesty—that comes with being an X Factor judge, too!
We caught a sneak peek at tonight's season two premiere of the Fox reality competition show and have all the singing scoop on Spears and Demi Lovato's judging debut. So how did they do?
The auditions begin in Austin, Texas, with one of the night's best talents—21-year-old mother Paige Thomas, who blows the judges' socks off with an emotional story and performance of Mary J. Blige's "I'm Going Down" that leaves Cowell mouthing, "Wow!"
"You remind me of a girl I met about five or six years ago in my office and her name was Rihanna," L.A. Reid tells Thomas before she receives four "yeses" from the panel.
The next act, wacky 50-year-old Shawn Armenta performing his own song, "Candy Girl," brings the fire out of both Lovato and Spears with his joke of an audition.
"A lot of people work really, really hard for their dreams, but it's not meant for everybody," Lovato tells Armenta, who ungraciously fights back at the judges' criticisms. "That's why you use Auto-tune and I don't," Armenta replies.
"I want to know who let you on stage," Spears scowls. "I feel uncomfortable with you just staring at me." Needless to say, he doesn't make it through.
The auditions continue with a montage of Spears unleashing the "nos" on a bevy of unsuccessful contestants.
"It wasn't very good," "that was just kind of bad," "you need a new teacher to teach you how to sing," "I felt I was listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks" and "I think you're confused with your direction," are just some of the 30-year-old pop superstar's meanie judge critiques that give Cowell a run for his money. "I feel like you're Vanilla Ice meets Lauryn Hill meets West Side Story," Spears tells one particularly confused contestant.
Spears' mean streak stops in San Francisco. She, along with the other four judges, send through a hunky boy band named Emblem3 and a colorful 21-year-old cake decorator dressed in drag.
The X Factor premiere episode ends in Providence, R.I., where the judges come across two showstopping contestants. First, Jennel Garcia, 18, wows the judges and the audience with her sultry old-school rock performance of Grace Potter's "Paris."
Then 19-year-old Jillian Jensen brings the night's most emotional audition with a backstory of bullying and heartache that resonates strongly with Lovato.
"You can feel that pain," Lovato says during Jensen's performance of Jessie J's "Who You Are" before breaking out in tears. The 20-year-old "Skyscraper" songstress even walks on stage to comfort Jensen with a hug as the crowd applauds and gives a standing ovation.
"When you sang, you broke my heart," Lovato gushes while wiping away tears. "I can't wait for the bullies at home to see this." Backstage, Cowell even admits to coming close to tears. "You do have a heart!" Lovato teases.
Now we want to hear from you. Are you excited to watch Spears and Lovato on the X Factor? Sound off below.